Event: GVU Center Brown Bag Seminar: Sheena Erete "Taking an Asset-Based Approach to Designing with Residents in Resource-Constrained Communities"

April 5, 2018, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Centergy Building (Suite 335), Atlanta, GA

Sheena Erete


Neighborhoods play a critical role in the social and economic outcome of their residents. Particularly for resource-constrained neighborhoods that face issues such as poverty, unemployment, crime, lack of educational opportunities, and inadequate housing, it is essential to identify and address issues that contribute to decline as evidenced by a lack of public revitalization efforts, local resources, and private investments. As HCI researchers and designers, it is common to approach work in resource-constrained communities with a deficit view, leading to simplistic and stigmatizing descriptions of these communities that often minimize or ignore institutional infrastructures that breed inequity. In our work, we design with residents in resourced-constrained communities by focusing on their assets, specifically the human, environmental, social, and economic capital that can be leveraged in design. In this talk, I will discuss how we can identify and leverage local assets in resourced-constrained communities when designing technologies, practices, and policies. Specifically, I will present two projects in which we take an asset-based approach to designing for violence prevention and engagement in civic technology policy-making with underserved communities in Chicago. Results from these studies provide insight into how to effectively leverage community assets, particularly in historically marginalized communities.


Dr. Sheena Erete is an assistant professor in the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University. Her research explores the role of technology and design in addressing social issues such as violence, civic engagement, and STEM education in resource-constrained communities in Chicago. She earned a Ph.D. in Technology and Social Behavior (a joint degree in Computer Science and Communication) from Northwestern University and a Masters of Computer Science from Georgia Tech. As an undergraduate, she attended Spelman College, where she studied Mathematics and Computer Science.

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